Distance measuring device (DMD) brand SkyCaddie has welcomed yesterday’s news that the PGA of America will allow GPS units and laser rangefinders to be used in its three flagship annual tournaments in 2021.
The news means that the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May 2021 will be the first men’s Major professional tournament in history to allow competitors to use a SkyCaddie in competition.
The announcement also covers the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills, again in May 2021, and the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
In Europe, SkyCaddies are already used by over 50% of the field on the Legends Tour (formerly Staysure Tour and European Senior Tour), where competitors benefit from exclusive SkyCaddie mapped-on-foot course data, including accurate yardages to the day’s pin positions.
Other high-profile tours in Europe are expected to follow suit in using SkyCaddie pin distance information in their 2021 events, and SkyCaddie is already working with The PGA to supply pin sheet information for all of its national tournaments in 2021.
Charles Hine, The PGA’s Head of National Tournaments, said: “We allow the use of DMDs across PGA events and have seen the benefits both from a tournament organiser’s point of view, and also from a players’ point of view. Over 95% of players in our tournaments now use a DMD when they compete, which means that their usage has doubled over the last decade.
“We are introducing SkyCaddie technology at all of our national tournaments in 2021, in a drive to modernise our events. We also plan to roll this out to all of our regional events in the next phase of activity, and ultimately to share the benefits across the entire PGA tournament schedule.”
SkyCaddie’s on-foot mapping team will ensure that the latest course data is available for all 60+ UK golf clubs set to host national PGA tournaments this year – including yardage information for all new bunkers, lakes and other hazards, and distance information for every new tee and green location.
After PGA of America President Jim Richerson cited “improving the flow of play” as one of the reasons behind the decision, SkyCaddie’s General Manager UK & Europe, James Holmes, said: “We have long maintained that the use of a SkyCaddie, which instantly gives the golfer all the accurate yardages for every point on the hole ahead, improves your speed of play.
“A SkyCaddie is far quicker to use than a laser plus yardage book, and has the advantage of giving you carries, runouts and layup distances, as well as an accurate yardage for your next shot, all at a glance.
“Our conservative estimate, based on years of people using our GPS rangefinders in competitive play, is that having a SkyCaddie saves you at least ten seconds on every full shot you play.”
SkyCaddie, which is golf’s only distance measuring device brand which creates and updates course maps on foot using trained mappers with professional surveying equipment, recently launched a series of Masterclass videos on YouTube, aimed at helping avid golfers make the most of the brand’s latest mapping technology.
See www.skycaddie.co.uk for news of SkyCaddie’s latest GPS rangefinders.